Shawn, today would have been your birthday. You would have been 23. Not a day goes by where I don’t miss you. I miss having literally 3-5 different conversations at once. I miss you sending me random photos, I miss reading your writing and most of all, I miss having you around.
Talking to you was one of my favourite things to do, whether it was talking over the phone, meeting for coffee where we would drink enough coffee between the two of us to take on the world. I miss even the darker moments where I would visit you in hospital.
I remember the first time I ever met you. It was my first day at Toti high in grade 10. It was also my 16th birthday which no one knew (starting a new school in a new community is terrifying.) You just said ‘don’t worry, the school is small and the whole school is literally a square so your chances of getting lost is slim.’ All I was thinking is, ‘who the hell are you? I didn’t speak to you?’ Salty much Michelle?
We became friends from there and I really enjoyed doing things with you. Doing different clubs together and then musical the following year was just awesome. From there I really saw you grow and blossom into your own person, a true person, authentic and making sure you were always true to yourself. You stood up for what was right and made such an impact on the school which makes me so happy.
I get so angry at the way people treated you as well as the church. I know we had discussed this in such detail while you were still around but it still makes me so mad. I use what happened to you as an example in many conversations. Every time I think about it, it makes me so mad. I know that if you were to see me now and saw what I stood for, you would be happy. A lot of what I do is so that your memory won’t fade. You wanted to change how people viewed gay people and how people viewed mental illness. You would be amazed at how much people have changed and how we are no longer hiding mental illnesses, but rather getting them out in the open and getting people help for it.
So, as I remember you today, I want to let you know how much I miss you and how much I love you. You were such an amazing friend and I miss you every single day. I will never forget you Shawn.